How friendships keep you happy and healthy.
Besides working out, there’s another reason exercise classes make me feel so good...being with my friends there.
During my high school years I didn’t have a lot of girlfriends. Most of this was my own doing. I didn’t have the confidence to share my heart with anyone who could stomp on it with gossip or make fun of me. Back then, I didn’t know that I could pray and ask God to bring the right friends into my life.
For the past 26 years, the majority of my weekday mornings have been occupied with teaching group fitness classes. It surprised me to realize recently that this is where I have developed my closest friendships.
Last week, after my Cardio Power Pump class, a group of us sat on the floor of the fitness room and listened to an audio Bible study. I was moved as I looked at each of my dear friends who were in the room.
One woman has been attending my fitness classes sporadically for over 20 years and she keeps me laughing. I met another woman at church and we developed our friendship during a Bible study in her home. Another friend moved to Owensboro several years ago and I feel like I have known her all my life. My athlete friend has seen her share of adversity and her strong demeanor and discipline inspire me. A girlfriend 10 years younger makes me feel better when I am down.
My ears perked up as some of the younger ladies shared how they also have developed friendships through our fitness classes. Several mentioned being torn between their careers and staying at home with their children. Feelings of isolation drew them to the group fitness classes and they were surprised to meet others in their same situation.
Next, a young missionary spoke about her time in a foreign country and how a Christian family took her in and made her feel loved. She yearned to have a family one day and to be able to stay at home with her children.
I marvel at how beautifully God has orchestrated the steps of our lives. He knew these fitness classes would bring us together to develop the friendships that we all need. I love the scripture of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 about the power of friendship: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; if one falls downs, his friend can help him up.
Having friends is the best present a girl could give herself.
Photo: Theresa with friends
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wellness in Shaped by Faith.
Theresa is a former model and nationally certified fitness professional who teaches people to use their faith to inspire fitness and their fitness to strengthen their faith. She is the author of Shaped by Faith: 10 Secrets to Strengthening your Body & Soul, and three exercise DVDS: Pilates for the Soul, Strength Training for the Seasoned Soul and Pilates Stability Ball.
She and her husband, Robin, have seven children and live in Calhoun, Kentucky.